Design Jury Review: Driven/Undriven

The Michelin Challenge Design Jury convened at the Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles last month to review entries, plans and prospective future themes for the annual global design challenge, now in its 13th year.

Following introductions, Jury Chairman Stewart Reed provided an update on the schedule for the meeting and walked the jurors through the current theme, “Driven/Undriven: The Duality of Tomorrow’s Automobile.”

Reed had visited Detroit, where participant entries are initially collected and organized, a few weeks prior to the jury meeting to review the entries and reported that he was pleased by both the quality and depth of the 2014 submissions.


2014 jury gathering – from left to right: Chris Chapman, Stuart Reed,
Damien Michelin, Freeman Thomas, Hubert Lee,Dave Mareck, Frank Saucedo

The 2014 Michelin Challenge Design Jury:

  • Stewart Reed (Chairman), Chair, Transportation Design Dept., Art Center College of Design
  • Chris Chapman, Chief Designer, Hyundai America Technical Center
  • Hubert Lee, Creative Director, Mercedes Benz Advanced Design North America
  • Dave Marek, Division Director, Honda R&D-Americas
  • Rich Plavetich, General Manager, Nissan Design America
  • Freeman Thomas, Director, Strategic Design, Ford Motor Company
  • Frank Saucedo, Director, General Motors Advanced Design Studio
  • The jurors were joined by Ben Ebel of Michelin Design and Mr. Damien Michelin.


The Process

Day 1:
The Michelin Challenge Design Jury reviewed all the submitted design works and design statements. The Jury methodically narrowed the field of entries to 75 quarter-finalists and then to 30 semi-finalists.

After lunch and a brief tour of The Vault at the Petersen Automotive Museum, the Jury reconvened to review the final 30 designs. Their task was to narrow the remaining entries to a final 15. At this point, each of the 30 works was presented individually and the jurors discussed the merits of each design as finer points, ideas and sketches were noted.

After a thorough review and discussion, the Top 15 selected design entries were chosen. These 15 finalists will be presented as part of the Michelin Challenge Design exhibit at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit in January 2014.

The work for the day completed, the jury and the Michelin Challenge Design Steering Team adjourned to dinner at “Cut” at the Wilshire Beverly Hills, where they were joined by Mark Takahashi of Edmunds, Ed Loh of Motor Trend, Mark Rechtin of Automotive News and author Matt Delorenzo.

Day 2:
The second day of Judging began with the Jury being asked for the first time to choose First, Second and Third place designs from the selected 15 finalists.

After considerable deliberation, the jury selected the top three works for feature display at NAIAS. The top 3 will be invited to attend the 2014 NAIAS in Detroit as guests of Michelin.

The 2014 Michelin Challenge Design finalists will be announced September 15. The First, Second and Third place winners will be announced later this fall.

The jurors noted that they were impressed by the quality of the work, comparing it favorably to the previous year. They noted the complexity of the 2014 Challenge –Driven/Undriven and the difficulty in communicating in 2D the visual properties of autonomous and semi-autonomous vehicles.

With the selections completed for 2014, the jurors and steering team began discussion of the 2015 theme and possible locations for next year’s jury meeting.

The 2015 Michelin Challenge Design Theme is “Drive Your Passion: Engaging Senses, Soul and Emotion”. Click here for the entry portal and more information about this year’s challenge.